The oldest member and vocalist of BTS, Kim Seok-jin is an endearing enigma for ARMY. Possessing sharp wit and the ability to strike back with sardonic repartee, or as his fans say, he is the epitome of savagery, perhaps outshining Suga as well. His hilarious and angry rants make YouTube history as do his solos, some of which include the time RM didn’t appreciate his gift of tissues, or when he was tasked with teaching Jungkook and V how to cook. He is also the protective big brother, always looking out for his members, bringing them birthday cakes and destroying them with grapes. At the same time, he is also the introverted individual who hides out at parties while the rest of the members take center stage on the dance floor. In short, as one fan noted: If you check Jin’s Instagram account, he would be quite puzzled about his actual profession if he didn’t know him: is he a tennis enthusiast or a chef? Who is he?
But that is not all. There’s the Jin on stage: the person who can effortlessly switch between falsettos in Dionysus and stare at the audience during high-energy tracks. He is also the person who can tug at your heartstrings with moving tracks. Jin explores a different emotional vocal range with his songs, which range from soft melancholy about self-love as in Epiphany to upbeat and upbeat songs (Moon) to angst-tinged tracks (Abyss, Yours, and Astronaut). These are also sung by the same person, who can sing Super Tuna, a one-minute song about him searching for his favorite crappie.
BTS’s history over the past decade has been divided into ‘eras’ by ARMY, with each member having a distinct personality and look with each solo album or single. However, there is a chapter in the story that continues to generate theories and a lot of confusion. That’s the ‘HYYH era’ with Jin as the emotional crux. It’s ironic, even without being the actor he always wanted to be, HYYH Jin is one of the most difficult roles in BTS history.
What was the HYYH era?
Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa or The Most Beautiful Moment in Life is one of the most complicated BTS concepts. Known as the Youth Trilogy, BTS released three parts of the HYYH saga over the course of 2015 and 2016. With Jin at the center of it all, this alternate universe story chronicles the complications and hardships of youth. The story seems simple on the surface: seven people who are close friends, struggling with life and the memories of their broken friendships. Each one of them explores different emotions of teenage life, self-hatred and pain (J-Hope), pain and depression (Jimin), anger and rebellion (V), heartbreak (Suga) and survival (RM). Only Jin doesn’t have a tragic backstory here, and a common explanation is that these different emotions from the other members are part of Jin’s psyche. In short, the HYYH trilogy is about Jin’s transition process from childhood to adulthood. It’s about how Jin reconnects with himself.
This era has spawned many theories which were later merged into the Wings period and now it has become a bottomless pit of theories and interpretations with no correct answer as such. Ironically, it was the song I Need U, the first in the series that saved the band from disbanding and set the stage for the band’s public perception on the international stage.
There has been enough literature on social media and other ‘notes’ posted by Big Hit adding to the speculation surrounding this mysterious era and the many music videos. While it seems like a rabbit hole of deep theories and interpretations, one thing every ARMY has understood is that Jin is the emotional glue that holds friends together and saves them from themselves.
The theory of time travel seen in Run, I Need U
Clearly, BTS’s stories are much more complicated than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And as ARMY sadly agreed, HYYH Jin really deserves a better conclusion. One of the most common theories for alternate universe history (specifically I Need U, Run, Butterfly, and Euphoria) is that Jin drifted away from his friends after a fight and, several years later, gets stuck in loops of weather. he tries to save each of them from death (as seen in the I Need U video). Another guess is that he makes sure the members save each other, including rescuing V from drowning after killing his abusive father, Jimin gets to J-Hope in time and makes sure Jungkook doesn’t jump off the building. (Euphoria). It’s unclear if it was successful or not, which is one of the reasons why ARMY continues to obsessively discuss the HYYH era and continues to hope that the band will come back to complete the story and give them a definitive, and hopefully happier, conclusion.
It’s always interesting that Jin was the center of this story, which was nothing short of a sci-fi K-drama. He further established the image of him as BTS’s ‘big brother’ to fans and the public and fueled the belief that he is, in fact, always looking out for the rest of the members.
Jin is heading into conscription nine days after his birthday, and ARMYs are struggling to come to terms with the fact that they won’t be watching his crazy VLives, snarky comments on Weverse, or generally spamming their peers. But as they say, it’s Jin, he could find a way.